What is the main idea behind Khumariyaan?The idea is to resurrect folk music, specifically the rubab, sitar and dhol. We all met at a university and while performing, one of the listeners approached us and said in reference to a song that we are ‘khumariyaan’ because they were so into our music. Eventually, we decided to name that our band. Describe your music style in three words.Hyper folk rock. Explain your creative process?There is no philosophy behind it. We are super spontaneous! Our jam appears to be rehearsed but it is not. It is very much improvised but you can’t tell that it is. We play off each other well and certain instruments that unexpectedly create a new song. We can feel the sound on our chests and it is enjoyable to perform that way. It is not that we are in a room rehearsing with a small amplifier. All four of us listen to each other and if one of us finds an interesting beat, we keep at it. This is our work ethic. It took us 10 years of playing live to have the confidence in us that we can get away with spontaneous compositions. Do your songs tell a story?We leave it to our listeners’ imagination. A lady emailed us a few years ago detailing how she had bought tickets for our show but her husband passed away from cancer. She attended nonetheless in his memory. It was heartfelt. Everyone comprehends our songs differently and they are open to interpretation. We don’t limit ourselves to music. On average, how long do you practice?It depends. We take some events very seriously and practice for two-three hours on stage. Who would you cite as your musical influences?Aamer: Heavy metal and rock. My music taste ranges between the 1950s to early 1990s.Sparlay: Progressive rock, King Crimson and Floyd.Farhan: Anything instrumental.Shiraz: Pink Floyd, Queen and AR RahmanHow do you maintain harmony on stage?We know the kind of chords we play. It is rare for us to execute one song the same way except “Ya Qurban” because people know exactly what it sounds like. It depends on the event and crowd too. On a lighter note, our music can bring the dead back to life. It’s for every demographic, be it youngsters, adults or elders. We try not to deviate from the rubab. The rest of the instruments create a nice vibe that our audience can appreciate. Our aim is to connect the instruments and the crowd and we have developed that skill since the inception of Khumariyaan. It is our responsibility to push the audience. An average pop star would perform, request the crowd to turn their flashlights on and that is it. They would leave. There is no element of engagement. We create the perfect ambience for people to relish and make them feel that we are accessible. Yes, we seem to have a problem with uncredited musicians working tirelessly behind a pop star. If I ask you, who the guitar player of a famous singer is, you would have no clue!If you were to perform each other’s instruments, how different would the music sound?I (Sparlay) came into the band as the lead guitar player. Farhan and the rest specialised in their own instruments. We can experiment with multiple instruments but our forte is performing the instruments we have excelled in individually. You can’t change the connection you had with an instrument you played as a teenager. We have certainly added more instruments over the years instead of simply exchanging them.As a team, what are you focused on right now?We are working on an album and a few songs.How has Pashtun music evolved in recent years?We are at the forefront of Pashto music and have the best recording facilities. Pashto pop and folk are stagnant but they are gradually picking up pace.The writer is a freelance journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, March 17th 2019.